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Guru Dutt Films

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>THE JAPAN FOUNDATION ASIA CENTER
ASIAN FILMMAKERS SERIES NO.9

"GURU DUTT RETOROSPECTIVE"

  • Photo:Guru Dutt
  •   Profile of Guru Dutt

      Born on July 9, 1925 in Bangalore, Guru Dutt was educated in Calcutta, and later studied in Uday Shankar's dance academy for two years. He then went to the Prabhat Studio in Pune and entered the film world in 1946 as a choreographer. After working as an actor and assistant director, he made his directorial debut with "BAAZI" (The Gamble) in 1951. He created many classic films as an actor/director/producer since. In 1953 he married the then popular playback singer Geeta Roy. He committed suicide in 1964.


Films

  • BAAZI
  • 1.BAAZI The Gamble (First screening in Japan)

    (1951/B&W/137min./Director: Guru Dutt)
    Madan, an unemployed driver, is actually a shrewd gambler. In order to earn his sister's hospital fees he takes to crime, but faces an unexpected trap. This is Guru Dutt's first film as director, in which a sweet song resonates throughout the underworld. Taking the form of a film noir, this film exposes the paradox of the caste system.


  • JAAL
  • 2. JAAL The Net (First screening in Japan)

    (1952/B&W/133min./Director: Guru Dutt)
    Set in the fishing village of Goa, this film depicts the ties between Tony, a good-for-nothing man from the city, and Maria, a village girl who loves him innocently. The spirit of Christian love and forgiveness lies at the base of the story, and the film has a strong religious color to it, unusual for Guru Dutt.


  • BAAZ
  • 3. BAAZ The Hawk (First screening in Japan)

    (1953/B&W/150min./Producer, director, & performance: Guru Dutt)
    The setting is the 16th century, in the Malabar area on the west coast of India. There was a young woman called "Baaz" (hawk), who rose in revolt and led her people against Portuguese rule. Cooperating with the prince of the domain kingdom, she began a battle to drive the Portuguese back. This film is Guru Dutt's first starring film, an action film packed with adventure staged mainly on a ship.


  • AAR PAAR
  • 4. AAR PAAR Cupid's Arrow (First screening in Japan)

    (1954/B&W/140min./Producer, director, & performance: Guru Dutt)
    Kalu, who spent time in a prison for a traffic offence, finds a job at an auto maintenance garage after his release and falls in love with the daughter of the owner. But things begin to get out of hand when he is fired from his job and is then unknowingly hired as the driver of a gang. A sophisticated comedy filled with stylish dialogue and speedy action.


  • Mr. & Mrs. '55
  • 5. Mr. & Mrs. '55

    (1955/B&W/152 min./ Director, & performance: Guru Dutt)
    Anita will be eligible to receive her father's huge inheritance if she marries within a month. Her aunt schemes to marry her temporarily to Preetam, an unpopular cartoonist, only to get them divorced soon afterwards. But gradually, the couple grows fond of each other. This fine film taken in the middle period of Dutt's career shows his talent as a writer of comedy. He is undoubtedly India's George Cukor!


  • PYAASA
  • 6. PYAASA Eternal Thirst

    (1957/B&W/145 min./Producer, director, & performance: Guru Dutt)
    Vijay is an unsuccessful poet whose work is only respected by a young prostitute, Gulab. Vijay, thrown into despair, is mistakenly believed to be dead in a train accident. His "posthumous" manuscript then becomes a bestseller. This film is one of Dutt's best works.


  • KAAGAZ KE PHOOL
  • 7. KAAGAZ KE PHOOL Paper Flower

    (1959/B&W/148 min./Producer, director, & performance: Guru Dutt)
    Suresh, a famous film director, happens to meet Shanti, who is ideally suited to star in his film. The film becomes a great hit and the two become strongly attracted to each other, but eventually Shanti leaves Suresh, who has a wife and daughter. Upon losing Shanti, Suresh drowns himself in alcohol and his career as a filmmaker rapidly declines...Regarded as India's equivalent of "Sunset Boulevard", this film is Dutt's final work as director.


  • CHAUDHVIN KA CHAND
  • 8. CHAUDHVIN KA CHAND
    Fourteenth Day of the Moon (First screening in Japan)


    (1960/B&W/170min./Producer & performance: Guru Dutt/Director: M. Sadiq)
    The setting is the city of Lucknow in northern India, where Islamic culture flourished. Two of the three best friends who live in this city have fallen in love with the same woman unknowingly. By making good use of Islamic culture throughout, the film depicts the tragedy that occurs in relation to it. The title song celebrating the heroine's beauty became a big hit.

  • SAHIB BIBI AUR GHULAM
  • 9. SAHIB BIBI AUR GHULAM
    King, Qween and Knave
    (1962/B&W/157 min/ Producer, & performance: Guru Dutt /Director: Abrar Alvi)
    This film is set in Calcutta under British rule towards the end of the 19th century. The older brother cheats people, the younger brother leads a dissipated life, and the wife drowns in alcohol from loneliness. This film portrays from the servant's point of view the decadent life of the upper class unable to keep up with the signs of modernization. The director is A. Alvi, who has written the screenplay of many of Dutt's films

  • IN SEARCH OF GURU DUTT
  • 10. IN SEARCH OF GURU DUTT

    (1989/Color/Documentary/Video/84 min. /Director: Nasreen Munni Kabir)
    This documentary is a three-part tribute to one of India's finest directors, Guru Dutt, who killed himself in 1964 at the age of 39. The work traces Guru Dutt's personal story through many interviews with his family members and colleagues and observes his work through the use of extensive film excerpts. Produced by Channel 4 Television, UK.

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